The State of Andhra Pradesh in May, 2005 brought to the notice of the Central Government that Government of Maharashtra was constructing Babhli barrage in the submergence area of Sriram Sagar Project in violation of the GWDT award. In this regard, Member, Central Water Commission (CWC) held two meetings with officers of the States of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in 2005. Besides, another meeting was held between the officers of the States of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashstra in 2005. Another interstate meeting was taken by Union Minister of Water Resources with the Chief Ministers of concerned States on 4.4.2006 in which following decisions were taken:-
(i) A Technical Committee headed Chairman or by a senior officer of Central Water Commission and consisting of representatives of the States shall go into the details of various issues involved in Babhali Barrage project. The Technical Committee shall submit a report as early as possible but not later than 20th May, 2006
(ii) Till the Technical Committee submits its report, the status quo in respect of activities of the Babhali barrage project shall be maintained and further construction work will not be done by the State of Maharashtra.
In view of above, two meetings of the Technical Committee were held in CWC. The Technical Committee, however, could not submit the report due to non submission of detailed proposals by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in respect of suggestions made during the meetings.
In July 2006, the Government of Andhra Pradesh filed an Original Suit under Article 131 of Constitution against the State of Maharashtra and Union of India in this regard. In the Suit, the State of Andhra Pradesh has prayed to the Court to grant a permanent injunction restraining State of Maharashtra from undertaking or proceeding with the construction Babhali Barrage within the reservoir water spread area of Pochampad Project.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in their hearing dated 26th April, 2007 passed the following order.
“(i) Though the State of Maharashtra may go-ahead with the construction of the Babhali barrage, it shall not install the proposed 13 gates until further orders;
(ii) As the state of Maharashtra is permitted to proceed with the construction at its own risk, it will not claim any equity by reason of the construction being carried on by it.
The matter is under consideration of Hon’ble Supreme Court and is subjudice now.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh vide letter dated 25.06.2009 informed that it has been reported in the media that Maharashtra Government is going to install the gate and impound water in Babhali Barrage. They requested that a team of CWC officials may be deputed to inspect the barrage and submit factual report. CWC team visited the Babhli barrage project site on 25.07.2009 and submitted the report after visit. Report has been sent to Govt. of Andhra Pradesh on 10.08.2009. The report mentions that fabrication and erection of gates at pier’s top is in progress but gates have not been installed and there was no obstruction to the natural flow of river at the time of visit.